Soundbite: Former Sega CEO Tom Kalinske on telling the US Senate games aren't "just for kids"


When the United States Senate held congressional hearings on video game violence in 1993 and '94, Sega CEO Tom Kalinske went to bat in defence of the industry — and the medium. But he faced major obstacles just getting the senators to understand that the audience for video games was much broader than teenage and pre-teen boys. In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with Tom earlier this year, he describes the experience and lays out his frustrations with the senators.

For more on the 93/94 congressional hearings and their impact on the industry, be sure to listen to episode 10. It tells the story of how the designer of Night Trap — one of the games lambasted in the hearings for its supposed glorification of extreme violence (it was actually about preventing violence against women) — responded to the witch hunt by making a game so friendly and inoffensive that it couldn't possibly be construed as encouraging violence: Dogz, a game about raising and caring for a virtual puppy. 

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The Life & Times of Video Games

A documentary and narrative-style podcast about video games and the video game industry — as they were in the past — and how they came to be the way they are today.